Hong Kong remains stable city of law and order, despite the riot

PUBLISHED : Monday, 22 February, 2016, 5:02pm
UPDATED : Monday, 22 February, 2016, 5:02pm

I lived several carefree years in Mong Kok near the old police station on Nathan Road when as a nine-year-old I first arrived in Hong Kong. The unexpected Mong Kok riot at the start of Lunar New Year saddened me.

Fortunately, our police force swiftly put down the riot and even though our image has taken a hit, we remain a city of global stability and law and order. The government must seek out the root causes of the riot so that reforms can take place.

Over the holidays, I reread Leung Chun-ying’s policy address, which I generally support despite the various negative comments made elsewhere.

Although virtually all Legislative Council committee chairmanships are held by pro-establishment members, the opposition group is still able to get around the rules of procedure to devise new filibuster tactics to obstruct passage of government business. The pro-establishment camp should seek inspiration from this year’s Chinese zodiac sign, the monkey, or, more specifically, the Monkey King with his superheroic powers, to reduce filibustering time so that the government’s list of agenda items can be completed before the session ends.

Our Legco opposition parties ought to review how their filibustering policy would affect the performance of their candidates at the Legco election in September.

Progress on public housing and poverty alleviation, together with support for the disadvantaged, are areas in which the Leung administration has undeniably made good progress. In the public interest, both pro-government and opposition camps should support all the government initiatives in this regard without fail.

We are promised in the policy address free kindergarten education by 2017, commendable expansion in youth services, a major upgrading for vocational and professional education, pressing ahead with the West Kowloon Cultural District project, and appointing a commissioner for sports to expedite the Kai Tak multipurpose sports complex, plus further improvement in our air quality and plans for a 10-year hospital expansion project costing up to HK$200 billion. These initiatives to raise the quality of living of our people, young and old, and narrow the wealth gap deserve support from all Legco members.

The new Innovation and Technology Bureau, plus the “One Belt, One Road” and other economic initiatives, are all important for our city’s growth and further participation in China’s global expansion. Let us all embrace Hong Kong’s famed can-do spirit and our super-connector role to achieve new heights of competitiveness and reinforce our status as China’s preeminent world city.

Hilton Cheong-Leen, To Kwa Wan